I think you're right about a minimalist design
Because the interesting thing is that a minimalist design can be seen from two perspectives: it's at the same time simple and very contemporary / "cool". And it has to be both. Simple to express the origins of the products in authentic ways (a rural, friendly, stunning but also backwards place). And contemporary to be sellable.
The problem is, I think, finding the right balance. To understand what I mean, you'd have to read a bit into this book: "From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: The Social World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea". Eva found it, and it an interesting anthropoloical account of how (in the case of Papua) a fictional story is told to consumers, through packaging and all, about exotic coffee grown by "savages" in the jungle. So @Nadia , I really like your idea to go for a minimal design because it can make the product look both authentic and sellable. Can't say more atm without seeing something in front of me, as I'm everything but not a designer, and that with a limited imagination
Also, solely for inspiration purposes, I recently came across this packaging by a somewhat similar organization (but selling only inside Nepal). Kind of an unintentional cross between the "minimalist" and "homegrown" genres.
(Side note: Micha, who made the first Fairdirect logo with the two hands, suggested that we're also open to logo redesign proposals from your design students. It does not have to stay like it is if somebody more competent has a good design idea and that idea involves a different logo.)